REVIEW: NECESSITY (Bread & Roses Theatre) ★★★

Necessity is a new play written and directed by Paul Macauley. Following a sell-out run at the Brighton Fringe in May 2016, it gets a London premiere at Bread and Roses Theatre in Clapham, produced by Broken Silence Theatre, Brighton’s leading new writing theatre company.

Inspired by true events, Necessity is set against the backdrop of the housing crisis and the ever present spectre of redundancy.

Mish and Patrick may be living in a tiny basement flat on one salary but at least they have each other. Patrick returns home from work to find Mish reading a letter intended for their neighbour with a life changing revelation inside. Armed with this information, the young couple are faced with a tough decision. Do they share what they know, or burn the letter and pretend it never arrived?

In the small space at the Bread and Roses Theatre, the cast work well to draw us in to their world of secrets and half-truths. Mish and Patrick are played by Cerys Knighton and Tim Cook, both convincing as the struggling young couple trying to make their marriage work; the older neighbours are played by Vicky Winning and Will Anderson, seeming to have everything that Patrick and Mish don’t. Alex Reynolds is well cast in the roles of the women in the shadows of both relationships.

Necessity is an intriguing tale that keeps its audience guessing until the final moments. Paul Macaulay is a talented writer presenting the lives of realistic characters in interesting situations.

Reviewed by Rhiannon Evans

NECESSITY plays at the Bread and Roses Theatre until 4 February 2017